Pangalos urges mass airborne exodus if Syriza's Tsipras is elected to power

Pasok heavyweight in another tirade against main opposition party

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In his latest outburst, outspoken former Pasok MP Theodoros Pangalos says that were Syriza to come to power, anyone who could leave the country should leave immediately

Theodoros Pangalos (Photo: Reuters) Theodoros Pangalos (Photo: Reuters) A former Pasok minister has urged a mass airborne exodus from the country in the event that Alexis Tsipras is elected to power, arguing that a Syriza government would be disastrous for Greece and would involve the country "killing itself again".

Theodoros Pangalos, whose last political position was deputy minister in George Papandreou's government from 2009 to 2012, said that if Syirza came to power, he would "remain in Greece and endure his fate".

But he recommended that whoever could leave the country should "get on a plane and go".

"Otherwise, you will suffer the fate that will accompany the election of Mr Tsipras. Those who can go abroad, I would advise them to do. Straight away. On the night of the elections. Because he will dissolve the county," Pangalos said.

"The Greek people did this before. They will have killed themselves again," he continued, without specifying what earlier period he was referring to. 

The grandson of a military dictator who ruled briefly in the 1920s, Pangalos was elected to parliament in 1981 and was made a deputy minister under Andreas Papandreou a year later. He was foreign minister from 1996 to 1999, when he was forced to resign. 

Pangalos lashed out at Tsipras' recent invitation to Pasok MPs to ditch their party, comparing it to the so-called "apostasy" of 1965 where the Greek right toppled Giorgos Papandreou's centrist government by wooing some of his MPs.

The former minister said Syriza was trying to bring down the government inside and outside parliament, adding that the party was trying to create a "parallel power" along the lines of the Soviets during the Russian revolution in 1917.

He maintained that Syriza's involvement in university campaigns and with sacked public broadcaster ERT workers were examples of this tactic, which he added was doomed to fail.

No stranger to controversy, Pangalos' comments were met with hilarity on Twitter, where the hashtag #An_vgei_o_Syriza (If Syriza were elected) started trending. 

Last month, his claim that Greece's secret services were spying on the American ambassadors in Athens and Ankara in the late 1990s largely deflected attention from revelations claiming that US operates a sophisticated listening post on the roof of its embassy in Athens.

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